Rules bring focus to electronic data collection and review

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On 9 September 2016, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and the Ministry of Public Security jointly issued the New Rules on Electronic Data Collection, Extraction and Review in Criminal Cases, which will take effect on 1 October 2016.

Previously, regulations regarding electronic data collection and review were considered scattered and high-level, often causing confusion and uncertainty to the authorities, as well as target companies under investigation. Among other things, the new rules define the scope of electronic data, specify the powers of the investigation authorities and set out detailed requirements on collection, extraction and transfer, including the consequences for failure to observe these requirements.

MAJOR IMPLICATIONS

With a broader definition of electronic data, the new rules allow PRC authorities to collect almost any piece of digital information, including mobile phone records and messages, social media communications and any data retained on a computer or server. This will enable Chinese investigation authorities to locate, identify and secure “smoking guns” or traces of crime in a more efficient and effective way.

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Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker & McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker & McKenzie by e-mailing Danian Zhang (Shanghai) at: danian.zhang@bakermckenzie.com

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